Recently I wrote a post asking the question, “Should digital video commercials come with subtitles?” I finished by saying “Each advertiser must decide based on the many factors that define their brands, but I think subtitling should at least be considered.”
I decided to recommend subtitles for the video commercials we at Fearless wrote and produced for the launch of a brand new sTLD (sponsored top-level domain) dotXXX exclusively for the adult entertainment industry. After a 10-year campaign ICM Registry won the right to market dotXXX to the adult entertainment industry and launched September 7, 2011.
The current campaign can be viewed on our YouTube channel. It was aimed at the adult entertainment industry and intended to demonstrate to them that while a dotXXX domain is affordable, given the substantial investment .XXX is making in this new online adult destination they cannot afford not to be part of it. The commercials were humorous and deliberately designed to go viral. We worked to make them look less like ads than episodes in an intriguing ongoing story of one man’s decision and its consequences. There’s Gavin, who decided to keep his dotcom and save $100 (He’s happy about it honest!) versus his alter ego (King Gavin XXX) who chose a dotXXX and made a fortune.
dotSUB undertook the task of subtitling our 4 videos of various lengths in German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish—the languages our research showed to be relevant to the world’s largest adult entertainment markets.
If every minute 48 hours of content is uploaded to YouTube, how do you get a video to go viral? We’re all familiar with the videos that get passed around globally (the sneezing baby panda, the kid under anesthesia).
Those that don’t feature a celebrity tend to be outrageous or to involve freak accidents. But it’s hardly a science. How do you set out to make a video go viral, much less an ad?
I can’t tell you how we did it, as that’s part of our secret sauce. What I can tell you is that we made it happen for dotXXX. After 72 hours our first commercial was viewed over 1.3 million times and our second reached 2 million in the same amount of time, achieving the most viewed video and channel on YouTube for the week!
My partner Peter Gibb was the Creative Director on all four spots. They were shot by the production company, Rooster NY. The lead actor is Gavin McInnes, a known internet personality. We chose him because he’s a little crazy in a good way and a real character. Gavin enhanced the overall effect of the commercials aiding their “viralabilty”.
Did the subtitles make a difference to our YouTube success? Actually they did. After USA and Canada the countries where we received the most views were exactly those whose languages we featured in subtitles: Germany, Brazil, Japan and Russia.
In the end of course, the only measure that counts is sales. ICM Registry is 80% above their planned target and expects to be 300% above by the end of the year.
My view is as I previously said, if you can add subtitles you should!